Mr. Cope joins our faculty after recent posts at California State University, Bakersfield College and Brevard College in North Carolina. He ranks among the nation's finest teaching and performing classical guitarists, and will offer youth lessons and adult coaching in addition to encouraging guitar ensembles. He will prepare players for amateur enjoyment or auditions for college curricula. We can expect public performances in the community and occasional coaching from visiting artists. His highly regarded master classes for young musicians have focused on the true art of Public Performance and Stagecraft; a seminar/workshop intensely dedicated to the refined and professional performance as a path for both education and entertainment.
He is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Music and was later mentored by several important musicians: Eliot Fisk, Oscar Ghiglia, Michael Lorimer and Christopher Parkening, all students of Andres Segovia. There have also been diverse interpretive studies with a broad range of musicians including guitarist Leo Brouwer, soprano Beverly Wolf, and pianist Paul Badura-Skoda.
His career has been focused mostly in service to chamber and ensemble music, recording, education, and discovery of under-served populations. Now a mature artist with his own legacy of performing and teaching he is focused on motivating new generations of players.
Though already accomplished on several other instruments he gave his first solo guitar recital in 1972. Over the next 40 years he served as orchestral soloist, concert performer, recitalist, lecturer, recording artist and teacher. His travels have taken him throughout the United States, and to Canada, Mallorca, and Spain. He has been a guitar teacher since 1971, and taught college and university curricula since 1976. Many of his students achieved academic honors and have gone on to teaching careers and performers touring the traditional recital circuit all the way to the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center.
An award winning musician Cope was presented the Times-News"TED" award as Outstanding Musician of the year in 1995. In 2003 he received the Dr. Eliza B. Graue Extra Mile Award from Blue Ridge Community College. In 2004 he was nominated as North Carolina Outstanding Music Educator. In 2005 he was a member of the guest artist faculty for the New York Guitar Seminar at Mannes School of Music in New York. He is a Fellow of the NEA Institute in Classical Music and Opera at the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, and is President Emeritus of the Classical Guitar Society of the Western Carolinas, Inc."
"Cope is an artist of impressive technical ability...selections convinced me, moved me, came alive! - in particular the pieces by Bach, Villa-Lobos and Albeniz.”
STEVE TURNER, LAKELAND LEDGER (FL)
"Cope played with a sensitivity that I have never heard on any recording. His phrasing and dynamics were exquisite, and his tone quality absolutely breathtaking...This man can play a musical line!”
ANN KER, THE STATE JOURNAL-REGISTER (IL)
"In large measure because of (Andres) Segovia, music for guitar is enjoying a virtual renaissance today and listening to the likes of Cope one can only wonder why it took so long to get off the ground. Cope isnot completely single-minded...but to watch him when he plays suggests the ultimately inconsequential nature of both wine and women. Song reigns supreme.One hot classical guitarist...a star."
T. ROE OLDT, LAKELAND LEDGER (FL)
"A solid performer, Mr. Cope engaged the music with afluent, elegant musical style...(he) possesses a clear, round tone and shows a sensitivity for timbral nuance that is sadly lacking in many of today's guitarists. Mr. Cope made the evening all the more enjoyable by remarking on the pieces, often displaying a warm sense of humor with comments that drew the audience more fully into the works."
PHILIP JOHNSON, DULUTH, MN
"His solid technique allows clear voicing on an instrument which is known to be very fickle. But he is also up-front aggressive, and the vitality of the moment is paramount. In the end his presentation is vigorous yet disciplined, serious and exciting, yet entertaining and educational. I don't know how it's possible to be that laid back and intense all at the same time. There is a lesson there somewhere."
SCOTT MILLER, LAKELAND, FL
"Cope's solo group (DUENDE) exhibited virtuosoqualities and evidence of individual musical personality...he produced a wide range of coloristic effects to illuminate the music.
JOHN BRIDGES, Music Reviewer, ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES (NC)
"His performance was not only technically proficient,but also captured the spirit of the period in which the music was composed."
FRETTING, Memphis Classical Guitar Society
"A renaissance man...classical,accomplished...performance charmed the socks off of me."
MARY JO PADGETT, What’s Happening (NC)
"...popular and extremely talented, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a better evening's worth of music!'
FRANK BYRD, TIMES-NEWS (NC)
"His performances were well regarded by his peers as well as students...wonderfully professional. (He has) seriousness of purpose,and also good humor."
DAVID G. MOBBERLEY, Dean, Florida Southern College
"In the seven years I have know him as an artist he has been clear, entertaining, and excellent at presenting musical concepts to non-musicians. He plays beautifully, works hard yet with great intelligence,and digs very deep to clearly and simply illustrate a complex principal."
D.K. BROWN, Dir. Fine Arts, Polk C.C. (FL)
"As a singer I am always interested in the qualities of music which enhance musical line, texture, color, and also effective communication of performance. These two aspects of Roger's music particularly attract me. He is an experienced, intuitive and trained teacher. His performance ability encompasses a wide spectrum of musical literature with appeal to many types of audiences."
VIRGINIA DAVIDSON, Soprano, New York
"Thank you for performing for our Bicentennial Open House. It was beautiful and certainly contributed to making (it) a success.Everyone enjoyed hearing you."